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Craft Shows and Why I Do Them

Snowman OrnamentFor the last few weeks I have been running around preparing for the Season’s of the Heart Craft bazaar. I started doing craft shows about 5 years ago. Usually, I just do one or two shows a year. These are mostly sponsored by local churches where part of the proceeds benefit the church or a charity. Every year I tell myself, “This is the last time I am doing a craft show!” So why do I do them?

It’s certainly not to make money. Usually these events are break even at best when you calculate all the time and expense involved in a craft show. It’s not just the time to set up, break down, and the time spent at the show. Preparing for a show involves a lot of time. There is the time spent looking for and purchasing just the right display that will make that new item I am selling this year look great. There is the last minute brainstorm… hmmm… packaging… maybe I should work on something new? Of course, I will need a new outfit to wear the day of the show so that I look like a professional artist. Most likely there will be a dinner out since I know I’ll be too exhausted to cook after the show. Factoring in all these costs, I might make minimum wage.

As a glass artist, the items I make are usually at a higher price point than the average Fall Craft show shopper is willing to spend. I have added more economical things to my product line like pendants and ornaments. Unfortunately, when it comes to stained glass, smaller does not always translate to less expensive. And if I get too focused on producing repetitive smaller items just to make money, it takes the joy out of creating.

There are, however, intangible benefits to doing a craft show that don’t necessarily show up as income that day. You get to talk to people and see what they like and don’t like. This feedback is helpful for deciding what to make for the next craft show that I’m not going to do. Sometimes someone will sign up for a class. And occasionally someone who was at the show will remember me months later and refer me for a custom project.

So why do I do craft shows? Not sure I’ve answered that question. But maybe it is because creating in glass is not only what I do but part of who I am. I have no choice but to create. And I only have so much room for my creations in my house.

Hope to see you at the Strawbridge UMC Season’s of the Heart Bazaar in Kingwood on Saturday, November 7.  Here are some of the items I will have for sale.

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